Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tag is Always a Good Choice

After reading the two articles on the Hall of Shame, I can say that I completely agree with almost all of the statements made. Many teaching techniques described in the articles do not help students because they limit total activity time, and it singles out students.

The showcasing technique is terrible because only the strongest and most confident students will succeed in the skill. Even if a student can perform the skill when practicing in a group, he may be too shy to perform the skill with the entire class sitting there watching him. This technique also severely hinders activity time because only one students is doing anything at a given time. If your class has 20 or more students in it, that could take the entire class time and each student would only have had about two minutes of activity during the whole class, depending on the class time.

I personally will not be using many of the games and techniques described in the Hall of Shame, but I will definitely be using tag games as part of my lesson plan. Tag games, when done correctly are amazing tools to keep kids active and participating. The style that is described in the Hall of Shame is obviously terrible. If you get tagged and are out for the rest of the game, then that is a major waste of time. As a teacher, I will modify the game so that the kids are active throughout the game. Kids love to act like animals and firemen and policemen, so coming up with tag games that are based on these would be a good idea. You could play cat and dog tag, where the taggers are the dogs, and the non-taggers are the cats. The dogs (taggers) chase the cats (non-taggers) and after a non-tagger is tagged, they then become a tagger. Blob tag is another popular tag game and it keeps the kids moving, and also works on the affective domain as well.

Almost every child that I have worked with absolutely loves to play tag, and they will play tag forever. The key is to have more than one type of tag game in mind because they will get bored with playing only one single type of tag game for 40 minutes, or however long the class period is. Kids love using their imaginations so any tag game that allows them to act as something such as a superhero or a favorite cartoon character will motivate them to play. As long as the tag game you develop allows the kids to hit the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domain, your game is golden, and your students will definitely enjoy playing it because it will be full of challenges for them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dinosaurs, Lincoln Logs, and Fire Hoses

Monday February 8th was our first real hands-on lab. We really got more involved with the kids and played our own games with them. We focused on playing tag games because all kids absolutely love to play tag. The kids loved our tag games and we played them for a while, but they did get a little boring after playing multiple games of each. Jack then stepped in with a game of his own. In Jack's game, everyone lined up and we were all fire trucks. On Jack's cue, we all ran to another line making a siren noise, as if we were driving to the fire. When we got to the line (fire) we had to put it out using our fire hoses, and also making the noise a hose makes while doing so. After the fire was out we needed to rush back to the start, continuing to make siren noises. This game was really good because it worked on a lot of different things. The kids thought about was fire trucks and hoses sound like, they reinforced their knowledge of what firemen do, and they also got physical activity while doing so.

In the Pre-K classroom I had a blast. I played with Lincoln Logs and dinosaurs for quite a while. I played with several different kids using the same activity, and they all loved, both girls and boys. I kind of allowed the kids to direct the course of the activity but I followed the same loose direction. The game was either that they dinosaurs were friendly, or they were at battle with each other. The girls liked to have them be friends, and the boys loved to have them battle. On both sides, I built dinosaur houses out of Lincoln logs with the kids, and they all loved to have a place for their dinosaurs to eat and sleep in safety.

Overall, I love St. Mary's so far and I cannot wait to go back for another lab. It is a great experience and I am really learning a lot about how to successfully and positively interact with kids to get them to be active.